Jodie Johnson wanted to create a cafe where the welcome was comforting, the vibe warm and friendly, and somewhere that neighbours would drop in for a coffee and chat – somewhere sort of like your Nan’s place.
Jodie’s beloved Nan influenced not only the name but also the menu and the general decor and vibe of the place. There’s a grassy backyard with an outdoor seating area for 12, with herbs growing in the garden for use on the seasonal menu. Neighbours and locals do pop in here on a regular basis and Jodie knows the vast majority of her customers by name. Every cup of coffee is made with love and served with a smile. And it’s good coffee, too.
Jodie started her coffee career at Campos, spending four years between 2008 and 2011 working with their famous blends, many single origins and Cups of Excellence. She then moved on to manage Reuben Hills in 2012 before setting up Nans Place in 2013. Reuben Hills’ influence stayed with her and it’s now the main supplier of coffee for Nans Place. Jodie likes that Russ from Reuben Hills has a direct relationship with the farmers who provide the beans and isn’t afraid to experiment and push the boundaries of coffee.
The Nans Place house blend from Reuben Hills features Ethiopian Robot Mata, Guatemalan Rosma and Ethiopian Le Ilsa Hara and showcases sweet stone fruit, jasmine and cocoa notes. The house blend is always seasonal, so it changes every couple of months. Jodie likes to offer her loyal customers a variety, so their coffee, like their food, moves and changes with the seasons. There’s also a blend from Sample Coffee, called The Pacemaker, which is made up of beans from Panama and Guatemala, with flavours of strawberry and a cocoa finish. Nans Place offers espresso, cold drip, filter and V60 and is open Tuesday to Sunday for breakfast and lunch all day. On Monday, they’re spending the bingo winnings.
There’s plenty of highlights on the menu, which changes with the season but retains some old favourites which Jodie wouldn’t dare change. Take a breakfast favourite, Pop Johnson – signature bacon and egg roll with Jack Daniels sauce or for lunch, The Club – a roast chook, bacon, avo, cheddar and zucchini pickle sandwich served with coriander aioli, or the soft boiled eggs with soldiers. The Spring menu even featured a Vegemite and two cheese toastie and breakfast cous cous with dates, prunes, caramelised banana, orange and Pecora sheep yoghurt.
After the morning rush, you’ll find the inevitable sprinkling of hipsters, as well as locals catching up with friends, mums and babies, and couples on cozy coffee dates. After all, isn’t everyone welcome at Nans Place?